MATCH: Colne v Ramsbottom United
VENUE: Holt House, Harrison Drive, Colne, BB8 9SF
COMPETITION: Northern Premier League West Division
DATE: Saturday 19th March 2022
DISTANCE FROM RAMMY: 20 miles, 28 minutes
Admission prices are £8 adults, £5 concessions (over 65s and students in full time education), £1 U16. Admittance will be via cash turnstile or online via this link:
With three wins from our last five games and a spirited performance away at Leek Town, the Rams have suddenly built up a seven point cushion between themselves and that dreaded dotted line of the relegation play-off.
The performances over the last few weeks – if you discount the trip to the Derbyshire Dales – have been very encouraging and has given the supporters a sense of relief that they weren’t going to be watching their side scrabbling for points for salvation.
It’s not over yet, of course. And a trip to Colne, another side battling against that drop, will certainly not be an easy one.
They stopped a particularly horror rot a week or so ago by beating Widnes 2-0 and then hammering doomed Market Drayton Town 5-0 which ended a run of 11 games without a win, scoring just four goals in the process going back to pre-Christmas.
The Rams got the better of their near neighbours back in September when James Murphy, Eddie Cooper and Godwin Abadaki all slotted for the home side with former Ram Lee Pugh grabbing a late consolation – our first victory over them in seven attempts!
However, maybe rather surprisingly, our record at Colne is better than our record at home against them. What difference do that make – none whatsoever really but it is just a fact.
There is just eight matches left this season. The next two games, against title chasing Workington on Tuesday night and Warrington Rylands 1906 next Saturday are on the horizon so it would be good to go into those fixtures with a positive result and more space between ourselves and Prescot Cables in 18th place.
15th v 14th probably wouldn’t feature highly on a Northern Premier League Divison One West ‘Match of the Day’ programme … but its a huge game for both sides to save themselves from a nerve-jangling April.
STAT OF THE PREVIEW:
Only Kendal Town (4 points) and Market Drayton Town (1 point) have secured less points on the road this season than the Rams (8). But Colne have only won 4 of their 14 games at home – only 1874 Northwich, Kendal Town and Market Drayton Town have fewer points.
LEAGUE FORM GUIDE (most recent game first):
Ramsbottom United: W L W L W L
Colne: W W L L L L
You can read all about the history between the Rams and Colne in our comprehensive “Have We Met” article, which is below – written back in September.
Manager Lee Donafee is taking one game at a time.
“We go into this game with Colne on the back of a solid performance, which again we put ourselves in a position where we can build on.
“Colne have hit form themselves with a couple of wins but being in the battle we are in, the focus has to be on Ramsbottom United and what we still need to do.
“We are aware of what is ahead but it’s the old cliche of one game at a time and, that said, we have prepared ourselves for the game on Saturday.”
He is able to name a virtually full strength squad although Seydou Bamba is not quite ready to return. “He’s not quite where we want him to be on his recovery but he is managing the situation well.”
Khalil Osi-Efa returned to the pitch last week and Lee thought, “he had a great game last week against Prescot, it was a very welcome return for him.”
And it is hoped that Tony Donaldson may be in contention for his third ‘debut’ for the club having trained well again.
Young Blackpool loanee Michael Fitzgerald has agreed to stay with the club until the end of the season as well.